3.25.2009

Bugera 6262 Amp Review by Terry White

Terry White is a long time member of The Rock House Method. He is a gifted musician who gigs as much as he can. Terry is also a guitar instructor. He is a little different than most as he doesn't charge for his instruction. Terry is also very knowledgeable about guitars, amps and other gear that most of us are interested in. Terry recently got his hands on a Bugera 6262 amp head and put it to the test. The following is his on hands review of the Bugera 6262.

You can check Terry out on his my space site http://www.myspace.com/countryboy2082

Before jumping right into this I have to let you know that I have tested, used, tried, owned, or just played around for fun more than 50 different types of amplifiers over the last 25 years, all tube and solid-state alike and this is the first time in that 25 years that I am honestly impressed. And now I will tell you why.

Back in October of 2008, I decided that it was time to go out and purchase a new amplifier. I wanted an all tube design, but I also wanted to be able to play any type of music that I would choose and still use the same amplifier. Everything from Southern Rock, to the heaviest of Heavy Metal, and everything in between. Changing amplifiers in the middle of a set is not an easy task, and I have grown tired of having one amp that I can use for this song and have to either add an overdrive or distortion pedal for other type’s songs. So with that said I set out to find an amplifier that could do it all.

Well I found several that would fit that bill but the biggest problem was that all of them would have cost me anywhere from $1100.00 up to $3000.00 dollars just for the amplifier head alone. Well that was out of the question. Spending that much on just an amp head would leave no money for the many other things that are needed by any guitarists, like guitars.

Several months prior to my decision a company called Bugera had sprang up out of nowhere with an all new line of amplifiers that had been getting attention from all over the place. The amps were a big hit at NAMM that year, and the only local dealer kept telling me that I should try one of the amplifiers. He explained that because of the price of the amplifier that there was pretty much no way I could lose.

After weeks of thinking and hours and hours of research I finally decided to purchase the Bugera 6262 120 watt all tube head. Out of pocket cost to me for this amplifier was $529.00. That is one third at the very least and one fifth of what many of the amplifiers in this class were going for.

The Bugera 6262 is a dual transformer all tube design that boasts not 3 or 4 preamp tubes like most amplifiers on the market now. But 6 and yes that not a typo 6 12AX7 preamp tubes, as well as 4 6L6 power tubes that if you wish can be easily swapped out for EL34 power tubes. Just the flip of a switch, and a quick bias made easy because the switch and the bias connection and dial are right there beside the power tubes. But for now I have stuck with the stock 6L6 power tubes.

Before actually putting this amp into use on stage and being depended on I had to do some testing. For testing I used a very nice 412 cabinet that a friend loaned to be that was equipped with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.

Now with everything I need for testing I bring the amplifier and the borrowed cabinet home to my small studio which is really only a garage that has been turned into a nice acoustically balanced room. Everything is triple grounded; even the mats on the floor are made of a sound proof material, with a non conducting rubber base. All of this keeps out any unwanted noise from anything in the room using an electrical current. And those of you that use all tube high powered amplifiers know what even a tiny amount of noise can cause in an all tube amp.

At first I thought that I would just play around and see how the amplifier sounded just here with only me, no other instruments, and no band at all.

The 6262 is laid out very basic and straight forward, there is only a single guitar input, not the more traditional high and low gain inputs that most of us are use to having on modern amplifiers. All the knobs are what we call chicken head which are really just a basic knob or dial that looks much like a chicken head. No shiny chrome plated buttons, and pretty lights. This amplifier is all business, nothing else.

For effects I use and still do use only a T.C. Electronics G-Major effects processor run through the effects loop equipped on the 6262, which can be controlled by a footswitch that comes with the amplifier, which also controls turning on and off the lead and clean channels as well as the reverb.

With everything plugged in and ready to go, I turn on the power switch leaving the amplifier in standby allowing the tubes to warm up enough for tone, I plug in my favorite guitar. A Schecter C-1 Blackjack FR that has been modified a little. I replaced the standard Seymour Duncan JB pickup with a Seymour Duncan TB-6. The standby light comes on letting me know it’s time to play. So I set the bass, treble, and midrange to my liking. And I turn the gain up only to about 7 thinking that too much more with that many preamp tubes and I will lose all my tone to nothing but overdrive.

Starting off with no effects at all I just played around with some of the old standby licks that we have all come to know and love. Some Ozzie, a little Van Halen and the like. And, much to my surprise this amplifier sounds as good as or better than any of the current or past amplifiers of its type that I have tested. And what I mean by amplifiers of its type are amplifiers that are designed much the same way with a 5 and 6 12AX7 preamp tube designs as well as using a 4 6L6 power tube setup. For now we will leave those amplifiers nameless as this article is not intended to be a mudslinging contest, just a review of a really good amplifier at a great price, but for those of you that chase tone the way most of us do I am sure that you know many of the amps that will fit that description. And keep in mind still no effects and the gain is still only at 7.

Now I’m impressed and call a few guys to come over with their instruments and let’s see what this thing can do with a ton of bass and some very loud drums. Remember this is a garage that has only been padded.

Some of the guys get here and just for kicks I turned the head around facing the wall just to see if they would even know what amp I was using. We go through several tunes and decide to go to stage level volumes. So yes I just had to dime that gain knob and crank the volume to about 6 (which I do not recommend in a garage).

Much to my surprise by turning the gain all the way up I did not lose tone but actually gained it. This is something that you would normally only get in some of the best boutique amplifiers, costing much, much more. Turning up the gain actually added great sounding bass as well as opened up every harmonic tone I would get from my Schecter Blackjack. We get about half way through a song called “Aint Talking Bout Love” By Van Halen and my drummer is screaming for me to turn the volume down because he hears me over his own drums, and the bass player is bugging me to let him plug his bass into this head.

Once we stop long enough for our ears to take a break I turned the amplifier head around for the guys to see what the amp was. All of them are just standing there trying to understand how this so called cheap little amp sounded like that.

Now, try to remember that nothing has been changed, this amp is still all stock. It is using stock 12AX7 Bugera tubes, I have not changed anything. The only thing different really is that I used a 412 cabinet made by another company that is equipped with Celestion Vintage 30’s. And I only did that because at that time the Bugera 412 cabinet that I ordered with the head had not arrived yet.

Just for the fun of it, we call up another friend that owns one of the amplifiers in this same type of preamp and power amp setup manufactured by a brand that has been around for many years and turns out some really great amplifiers and invited him over with his amp. I challenged him to go head to head with this amp just to see how this would come out. And if I had not been there and tried this myself I probably would not have believed it. The much higher priced brand of amplifier just could not keep up, the bass response was much less, and while the higher priced competitors amp did sound great and with the gain dimed there were still great harmonics it was just not the same as the 6262. Before leaving my friend asked if he could play on the amp for a little while and he sat there for almost 2 hours before I could get him to give it back.

Now I am in no way putting down on any of these amplifiers that cost a thousand or two more I actually like them all and they sound great, if you want to pay that much for it. And out of 8 of us in that room everyone agreed that the Bugera just flat out sounded better overall.

We decided to take the amp out for a few small shows and see if anyone could tell the difference in sound. And much to my surprise that weekend I got more compliments that I had in the last 2 years combined. Some of the local guitarists actually wanted to know who I had sent the amplifier to and have it modified. I could not get any of them to believe that it was totally stock, that nothing at all had been changed.

Now down to brass tacks so to speak. For the next 3 weeks we punished that amp, hours and hours of playing at full tilt total melt down settings. And guess what, I did finally blow a transformer. But instead of complaining about the failure I decided to use this as a way of seeing just how well the company would stand behind its product.

A sent out a single email about the problem to the nice people at the Behringer Corp. Now even 24 hours later I had a response, and a very pleasant response. Instead of them telling me I had to ship it off to be repaired they simply asked if I had a dealer nearby that had a 6262 head. Well the only dealer close did not have one so I emailed and let them know. A day later I got an email with a tracking number and a prepaid shipping label telling me that a new amplifier was already on the way and to please pack up the one with the blown transformer and ask the UPS driver to pick it up as he dropped off the new one.

Now, I have been doing this a very long time, and I can tell you that I have never known of a company to just flat out replace an amplifier just by taking my word for what I thought was wrong. With an all tube design you are going to have failures from time to time, that’s just the nature of the beast. You can’t predict vacuum tubes or even transformers. The technology behind tube designs has not really changed very much over the last 30 or 40 years. But I do not know of any company at all that will just replace an all tube amplifier, and defiantly not within only a couple of days of contacting them. Most companies insist that you ship or take it to an authorized service center got repair, no matter how long it may take.

So for me this is what I call a cant loose amplifier. The sound is there, the tone is there, the power is there, and probably one of the most important things is that the service is there. This company does stand behind this amplifier, and not just for the multi-million dollar stars, but for just the common guitarists like you and me.

So here is my final recommendation for the Bugera 6262.

If you are in the market for an all tube amplifier you would be almost nuts not to at the very least go out and try one for yourself. Most of the dealers are more than happy to let you play until your heart is content because they know playing on this amplifier will sell it for them.

Dollar for dollar I do not know of any amplifier out there anywhere made by anyone that can even come close to the Bugera 6262.

An all tube design, using 6 preamp 12AX7 tubes and 4 6L6 power tubes, a true serial effects loop, and one of the best on board reverbs I have ever heard. And they even throw in the pedal to control all of it at no extra charge at all.

Ask yourself, what more could you want or need. This is a down to business, no frills, turn it on, and turn it up total melt down kick ass amplifier. Try one and tell me if I’m wrong.

For more info on Bugera products you can check it here http://www.bugera-amps.com/

13 comments:

Toxteth O'Grady said...

This reads like a paid endorsement to me because the author does not mention any other brand names. He also claims the amp can do it all which I think is unrealistic for any amp. Quite a long review but sounds far more like a sales pitch.

sarge1875 said...

I do believe the name of the article is "Bugera 6262 Amp Review by Terry White".

The article is his review of their amp and he obviously liked it....a lot.

jamie said...

yeah, i have a 333xl-212 i picked up for 800 Australian. flat out better sound than my mates fender hotrod, and flat out better sound than the three marshall heads i put next to it when i was trying the head (333xl) in the shop, through the same cab.

the sound kicks ass, and the features are gold, but just be careful, the amp has a lot of plastic, and sometimes parts - not the entire amp - just break.

if you know how to service an amp, or know anyone good to do it for you, even with a lot of work done to them, they are still cheaper than the big names.

sarge1875 said...

I have to say I have not had anything but good emails and comments about them.

Joe Faraldi said...

Great review and dead on accurate.

I just purchased (and have been gigging with) the 212 combo version of this amp, the Bugera 6262 and it's a beast. However, calling it a beast makes it sound like a one-sided, metal-only amp. It's not. The tones I've been able to get are incredibly broad and I've been complemented many tines on the clean and crunch tones.

Last night, I played this amp at a club called The Riot Room in Kansas City. Corey the sound guy is extremely good at what he does and this venue sees a lot of national acts. He got up from the booth three times to come over and take another look at the amp. He was floored and couldn't say enough about the tone. After our set he said it again. Only had the volume on the clean and lead channels at "1" and he was using an SM57.

Interestingly enough, my buddy from the next band went up there with his very high-dollar Mesa half stack and Corey was still talking about the Bugera. That has to tell you something.

Read up on the company. View the videos on the site www.bugera-amps.com. Every component is literally made in-house by Bugera and these amps are hand-wired. Sure, stuff CAN go wrong with any piece of equipment, especially when you start bringing tubes in the mix. I load, set up and tear down my own stuff. I take care of it. I'm not concerned.

Side note: I was literally at the counter at Guitar Center, about to buy a new B-52 AT212 on clearance. THIS amp has had a lot of issues with overheating and a higher than acceptable failure rate. However, the price was in my zone and I liked the tone. Then my guy there went to take a leak and I drifted over to the Bugera combo. Pulled it down off the display, put it next to the B-52 and when he got back I told him I wanted that Bugera. He wasn't gone long. It was an instant decision based upon the tone and really the simplicity of the design.

People LOVE to bash gear sometimes. It's all good because it forces us to do more research. The Bugera line is the real deal.

Side note 2: My good friend and former bassist plays a Behringer UltraBass 210 combo for the past two years. Did 60+ live shows last year with it and probably 60+ rehearsals. It's solid as well.

The bottom line is that Behringer is a solid company and they're successful because they can offer good stuff at a lower pricing segment. They just choose to do so and have from the start. Should a Mesa REALLY cost $2000? Probably not but they can because they've got a great name and a better marketing division.

Don't sell yourself short. I'm loving my 6262.

...and no, I don't work for the freaking company. Good try though.

:)

Joe
www.tripleshift.com

Anonymous said...

What about the infamous power tube clip failure?? Anyone see that yet?

terrywhite1 said...

Just so everyone knows this is not a sales pitch. The amp really is the best bang for your buck anywhere out there.
If anyone happens to know of an amplifier that can be bought for less than $6oo.oo and still get the sounds that you can get from a 6262 I would be glad to hear about it and possible even test and review it.
And no I do not work for the Behringer Corp. I just love finding good quality sound at a great price.
And if anyone may not believe what I have said about the amplifier, go out and try one for yourself.

By the way later in the winter after my factory warranty has expired I plan to send the amp off for a Voodoo mod, and have it re-tubed. And if there are any little kinks in the amp that could cause problems later down the road that will take care of any of that.
But so far I have had no problems at all with my 6262 head, and yes it can pretty much do it all. I play everything from country to Southern Rock, to Metal and I play it all with this single amplifier. Of course I do add some effects, but do added overdrive pedals or anythin like that. No way you could need more overdrive.
For the money you simply can not beat it. And that is why I am so passionate about the 6262 is because almost anyone can afford it.
It's not an advertisement, it's just a way of letting people that can't afford $3000.00 or more for an amplifier that there are amplifiers out there for much less money that sound as good or even better.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the bugera 6262 is the most incredible amp i have played, ive played the mesa boogie dual recto, the marshall jcm2000 and compared it apples to apples with the bugera 6262, pfft! i couldnt belive that for 600 bucks you can get a balls out badass freakin amp! i use it live, in the studio, you name it, metal baby, haha. check my band out myspace.com/apdlmusic

-eric

Anonymous said...

I can respect the fact that you liked the amp and while it's terrific that Behringer replaced the amp when it blew a transformer I would prefer to spend the extra bucks and get an amp that holds up longer than 3 weeks.

They replaced it because you had only had it for 3 weeks. When 90 days is up you're screwed.

They may sound ok, but they aren't well made. Save up the extra bucks and buy something made better. It will save you some major frustration in the long run.

Just my 2 cents.

terrywhite1 said...

Actually it's not 90 days it's a year, they cover it for a year, only the tubes are 90 days and that is with any company. Marshall, Fender all of them.

Anonymous said...

This review was posted: 3.25.2009

How is the 6262 holding up? Any problems? Any new info about it?

terrywhite1 said...

As soon as time permits I will get to that follow up review I mentioned, I hope this will help at least for now.

I have been using a Bugera 6262for a bit over 18 months now and to be honest I have been surprised. I honestly thought that after a few months of being dragged from one gig to another that at the very least I would have been replacing tubes by now.

I only had a single problem after writing this review and it was of no fault of the amplifier at all. Someone walking by just happen to step up about 6 inches or so and walked a few feet across the stage we were set up on about 6 months ago. I guess the guy was trying to get around everyone faster or something like that.

Anyway when he did he actually got his leg caught in my guitar cable and then tripped and fell off of the stage. When he did it pulled the cable kind of sideways and caused the plug to snap off the input socket.

I made him pay for the repair which was about $50.00.
Other than that I have not had any issues with the performance of my 6262. Actually as the tubes got a little age on them they really started to sound a little bit better than when it was new.

So I can honestly say that after at least 18 months of playing, and I am talking about being g played at least 5 and 6 days a week, I would even use it for practice a lot of the time. The amplifier just kept right on kicking.
So as far as durability, well so far so good.

frreka said...

Nice amp, indeed. I play death metal and decided to purchase a new amp a few weeks ago. after some tests and research I go for 6262, cause I need a beast with both lots of gain and readable tone at the same time, and this one has it. When I played it for the first time, I totally fell in love :-D I think its the best buy for the price. I'm getting it today, looking forward to it :-)